It is the day of your wedding. You realize you never got around to booking the venue. Quick…what do you do? Call in a bomb threat? Well, hopefully not, but that is exactly what panicked groom, Neil McArdle did! When McArdle, a.k.a., the “ka-boom groom” realized that he hadn’t booked his wedding venue, he called in a bomb threat to cause a diversion and cover up his mistake!
Every one of us has procrastinated or forgotten to follow-up on details. Sometimes we try to cover-up our mistakes, usually making matters worse. McArdle could not face telling his fiancée, Amy Williams, that he there was no booking. Rather than confessing, he called in a bomb threat which caused the evacuation of the famed St. George’s Hall in Liverpool, and left his bride standing on the sidewalk in her dress with her wedding party. McArdle will be spending 12 months in jail (which may be the safest place for him right now)!
Scripture warns us about procrastination and inattentiveness. The message is simple: don’t put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today. Jesus warned His disciples: reconcile with brothers immediately (Matthew 5:23-24); deal with anger before the sun goes down (Ephesians 4:26); and share the gospel today (Luke 14:21). New Testament writers tell us to hear His voice today (Hebrews 3:12-13, 15), and avoid the arrogance that we are assured a tomorrow (James 4:13-14).
But perhaps it is Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:1-13 that best explains God’s view of procrastination. Ten virgins were waiting on the bridegroom. Five of the virgins were prepared; five procrastinated until it was too late, and they were left behind. Jesus calls the unprepared virgins “foolish.” Like McArdle, they failed to properly prepare, and they paid the price for trying to “fix” it at the last minute.
Friends, are you prepared? Or are you still procrastinating? There won’t be any confusion when Jesus comes. Reserve your spot in heaven today! Become a child of God and live the faithful life, fervently waiting for His return. This is one reservation you will want to confirm.
I am glad to say that I have never had a reason to use a parachute. I dabbled with the idea of skydiving once. In the end, my brain rejected the idea of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. But I am glad to know that if I ever needed a parachute, such a thing was invented and has been shown to work.
If you have ever dropped a plastic army man with a parachute attached, performed a high school egg drop experiment, or ridden Disney’s Parachute Drop Ride, you owe a debt of gratitude to André-Jacques Garnerin, the Frenchman credited with being the first to parachute without a rigid frame on 10/22/1797. Over 200 years ago, Garnerin ascended to 3,200 feet in a hot air balloon before cutting a cord that sent him toward the earth in a basket with an umbrella shaped parachute. He landed safely, though with a few bumps, and the idea that would lead to modern parachutes was born.
Would it surprise you though, if people started skydiving without parachutes? Of course, it happens by accident on occasion. People think they have the right equipment or their equipment doesn’t work. But rarely does anyone jump without a parachute for the sport of it. Why then, do millions jump into sin without stopping to think about hitting the bottom without a parachute?
Too many people forget the inevitable landing when it comes to their spiritual lives. While we are all guilty of sin, God has given us a “perfect parachute” in Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He would “lose none” that God had given Him, “but raise them up at the last day.” Isn’t that amazing? Our parachute not only catches us and holds us up, but will even lift us up to be with God!
Are you toying with danger? Did you jump into sin only to realize you aren’t wearing a parachute? God gives us “the way of escape” (1 Corinthians 10:13) if only we will latch on to Jesus and follow His commands. His children are promised a safe landing. Why not become one today?
So what do you do when your minister quits working? Do you believe he has failed God and the church? Do you replace him? Of course, ministers who don’t minister shouldn’t keep their jobs very long in a church. But what about when that minister is a government?
Did you know that Paul calls the government “a minister of God to you for good” (Romans 13:4). The word “minister,” is from the Greek for “servant” or one who “executes the commands of another.” So if our government has shut-down, has our minister quit ministering? And if so, how should Christians react?
Jefferson reasoned that after a long train of “abuses and usurpations” the people have a “duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” Yet, Romans 13:1-2 makes it clear that God established the government and that whoever rebels against it actually rebels against Him. So what is a Christian to do?
There is a clear distinction between open rebellion against God and working within the rights given by the laws of the land. In America, we have an amazing privilege – the right to vote. And I am guessing that many current leaders will suffer at the polls next election. But we would do well to remember that we will answer for every word we utter in this lifetime (MT 12:36). Many Christians are posting some really nasty things about their minister lately. I ask this: “Would you post the same comments if your minister at church stopped doing His God given work or would you handle it with a bit more dignity?”
Ministers who fail to minister will be judged for their actions – in this lifetime possibly, but certainly in the next. But I believe we would conduct ourselves with more dignity if it were our minister…and it is. So even if you have to “fire” a minister at the ballot box for failure to minister, let’s watch what we say about our minister in public. The world is watching how Christians react, even under duress.
Last month I read an article about a couple who banned modern technology in an effort to inspire their kids. These parents were discouraged that their kids buried their faces in iPads and had no desire to go outside and play. Frustrated, their dad made a decision: for 1 year, they would live like it was 1986. They signed off of e-mail and social media, packed up the flat screens, cell phones, and computers, and they bought a rotary phone, a wooden TV, a radio, and a Nintendo! While I applaud the effort, there are a few potential pitfalls worth mentioning.
First of all, outside wasn’t all it was cracked up to be in 1986. I was 13 and smack dab in the middle of a Generation X, latch-key world. Most of the time, “playing outside” meant doing stuff we weren’t supposed to be doing! While I agree that outside time is good for kids, unsupervised is unsupervised…in any decade. Just sending kids out into the fresh air isn’t the answer. Spending time with our kids is an important lesson.
Secondly, technology is not the real problem. What about the 1950’s Dad who buried his face in a newspaper while his kids longed for attention? Is today’s electronically detached Dad somehow worse? Kids want attention from their parents. Whether it is a newspaper, a cell phone, or one more round with “glass Joe,” detaching from distractions is an important lesson.
Thirdly, Godly living is best in every decade. The article (Parenting like it’s 1986) was written about a couple who was not married, yet they had two sons together, ages 5 & 2. This couple clearly wants the best for their family. But is shutting off e-mail a better lesson than a lifelong commitment in the eyes of God? Children need parents who submit to God’s laws. Following His way is the best lesson.
Will I be returning to 1986 any time soon? NO WAY! But I will try to do the best I can for my family by seeking God while He can be found (Isaiah 55:6). How are you training up your children (Proverbs 22:6)?